- President Donald Trump travelled to Calexico, California, on Friday to hold a roundtable with Border Patrol officials and visit the fencing replacement his administration has said constitutes his long-promised border wall.
- Trump made the trip amid a surge in illegal border crossings, saying at the roundtable that “our country is full.”
- He went on to criticise previous presidential administrations for building “not a good-looking wall” full of “holes.”
President Donald Trump spoke about border security during a roundtable with Border Patrol officials in Calexico, California, on Friday, spinning off into a tangent at one point about putting doors in the border wall to fill holes that he called “big, gaping wounds.”
Trump was in Calexico to visit the newly installed fencing replacement that he has said constitutes his long-promised border wall, though plans for the fencing replacement have been in place since 2009.
He made the trip amid a surge in illegal border crossings, largely by asylum-seeking families from Central America, that have overwhelmed Border Patrol agents and fuelled Trump’s assessment that the border is in a state of “emergency.”
“Our country is full,” Trump said at one point during the roundtable. “When it’s full, there’s nothing you can do. You have to say, ‘I’m sorry, we can’t take you.'”
He paused at another point to criticise the previous two presidential administrations for building “not a good-looking wall” full of holes.
“It’s a wall, not a good-looking wall, it’s a wall. It’s got 36 doors in it. Big doors, very big doors, and they never put the doors on. So it’s 38 miles and 36 doors that you can drive a truck through. There’s only one problem, they never put the doors on it,” Trump said.
Trump was referring to the dozens of gaps in the border fence where the government once intended to place gates. Yet the gaps have remained open for years, and ongoing efforts by the Trump administration to fill the gaps have sparked ire, at times from local residents who say the gates will block off access to nature preserves and negatively affect local wildlife.
“So now we’re filling up those big, gaping wounds in this wall, and it’s going to have a big effect and we’re adding to it very substantially in that area, the Rio Grande area. You know exactly the area I’m talking about,” he said. “A wall and big holes in it.”
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